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5. Because there was only one prophet (Ma
lachi) after the last reformation of Nehemiah, until the Christian æra, and he does not predict any future deliverance of the Jewish nation; thus leaving us to conclude that the predictions of former prophets were fulfilled, as to their literal import, on the return from Babylon, and the subsequent prosperity, and, therefore, had no
reference to the present dispersion. 6. Because the doctrine is encumbered with
certain difficulties, which are not necessary to be encountered, because obviated by an interpretation more simple and more in harmony with the general tenor of the word of God, than that upon which the
said doctrine is built. The difficulties are of three kinds. (1.) Arising from the magnitude of the
events necessarily implied. (2.) Arising from the ordinary course of
things. (3.) Arising from the apparent contradic
tion to Scripture testimony which the
doctrine involves. 7. Because the doctrine is fruitless of good, and
prolific of bad effects on the public mind. in general, and on the minds of the Jews in particular.
Do the Scriptures predict the future. Restoration
of the Jews to Palestine?
The inquiry not one of mere speculation, but important.—The
doctrine, if true, may involve important duties; if false, may lead to serious evils.-Apposite remark of Oliver Cromwell.- If the Jews are to be distinguished on their conversion above other converts, it must be on the ground of some distinct relation to the Divine Being.–The question of this distinct relation examined. Their distinct relation to God only that of rebellious children.—This relation not necessarily favourable to the doctrine. - Whether their distinct relation involves any distinction in their future history, or suggests any special duties to Christians, questionable.--If their future distinction in any way be questionable, those extraordinary distinctions insisted upon by some persons in the present day, much more so.- -To suppose it before their conversion preposterous; after their conversion contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Gospel.
January, 1828. MY DEAR FRIEND,
In conformity with your wishes, I shall endeavour to investigate this question, which, I am aware, presents itself to your mind, as it does to my own, not as one of mere speculation, but, as possibly involving, in one view of it, very important